The One Cool Shower Trick You Need to Try ASAP
Bibliography: Praetorious, S. J. (2017, February 23). The One Cool Shower Trick You Need to Try ASAP. Retrieved February 25, 2017, from http://www.gq.com/story/one-cool-shower-trick-you-need-to-try?mbid=social_facebook
Dial it back for better skin and hair.
Hot showers are amazing. Period. Especially in the dead of winter when you just can’t seem to warm up, that rush of near-scalding water and the steam bubble it creates around you are the closest you get to heaven in this crazy, mixed-up world. We’d never want to take that feeling away from you. The trouble is that steamy showers can actually wreak havoc on your skin (and hair).
Tampering with the delicate moisture balance in your body’s protective coating, baths in almost-boiling water leave your body vulnerable to all sorts of dryness if indulged in regularly. But does that mean the only way to protect your skin and mane is to brave icy mists every morning, when all you crave is the touch of heat? Because that sounds pretty horrible. So we did a little digging to discover if there was any way to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. And as it turns out, a lot of people think that they’ve found a solution.
Their claim: after a nice, hot shower, dousing yourself briefly with a stream of freezing water will help lock in moisture, increase circulation, and leave your skin and hair looking instantly more handsome. Sounds simple enough, but is there any science to back it up? According to Dr. Terrence Keaney of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, there may be.
First off, there’s the matter of moisture. “Cold temperature decreases transepidermal water loss, contributing to better skin hydration,” says Dr. Keaney. Essentially, this means that chilly water does, indeed, help improve skin’s water content, if only by making sure that moisture stays right where it’s needed instead of evaporating into the air. “Cold temperature also reduces your skin’s sensitivity to irritants,” Keaney notes. It’s for this reason that a hit of cold water may help guys with hypersensitive skin, such as those with eczema.
Next, there’s circulation. According to Keaney, a chilled end to your shower may “cause superficial blood vessels to constrict, which can be beneficial to those who are prone to facial flushing or rosacea. Due to decreased facial redness, the skin tone/complexion may appear improved.” Not too shabby. Aside from visual effects, though, cold water may positively influence the body’s general circulation as well. “Cold temperature also redirects blood flow to deep blood vessels, improving blood flow to the heart,” Dr. Keaney notes. “This improved blood return may help the body’s metabolism and processing of waste products.”
But it’s not just your skin and blood vessels that are affected. “There are some studies,” Keaney adds, “to suggest that cold water increases heart rate"—waking you up—"improves your mood, and increases your stores of brown fat [the “good” fat that burns calories/energy in order to produce heat].” Win-win-win, if you ask us.
Before you go ahead and turn the nozzle down to frigid, there are some guidelines you need to follow, though—for safety’s sake. “The cold water should not be lower than 61 degrees to avoid injury,” says Dr. Keaney. “Low seventy degree temperature for 2-5 minutes is necessary to trigger the expected biologic activity.”
So there you have it. Go ahead, take that hot shower. All you have to do is dial back the heat right before it’s over, and you'll emerge a better man for it.
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Also in News
Most men have more symptoms of hair shedding and other issues between September and November because the hair follicles enter their resting (telogen) phase mid-summer. This causes more hair than normal to fall out. The follicles will stay in this phase for several months, but the hair will begin to regrow in winter when Mother Nature thinks you need it most.